When I am King: Filling You In

When I am King...

We won't need dentists.

I went to the dentist recently and was told I’d need fillings. That’s pretty normal - my teeth attract cavities like nerds attract bullies. It’s just the natural order of things.

The annoying part was that I needed fillings … to replace my fillings. The dentist said, “You have some older silver fillings. We have to replace those because you can get cavities under them.”

Hold on - they want to fill teeth that have already been filled? Why is that fair? I’m pretty sure the dentist manual says that they’re supposed to fill cavities. Moreover, once those cavities are filled they’re supposed to go rooting around to find more cavities to fill. They are definitely not allowed to go looking back at filled teeth to see about re-filling them. They’ve been there, done that - my filled teeth have done their part and sacrificed themselves for the greater good of my mouth. Now get the hell away from them and go find something real to charge me for.

The problem could be that there’s not much enamel left in my mouth for them to poke and prod. My set of teeth simply don’t provide a fertile soil upon which the dentist can plant future profits. So she’s looking for other ways to ply her trade. If your only tool is a little metal pointy thing, everything looks like a cavity. Even a filling.

When I am King, everyone will have artificial teeth. I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to keep the dentists and their sadistic ways away from our mouths. People think that Jaws, the James Bond villain, had those metal teeth for some nefarious purpose. Not true; he just hated dentists. And if they tried to fill his teeth anyway, he’d bite them.


Things I Believe: Little Thoughts for Friday

 Life: If it's so great, why are people dying to leave it?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. So answer your damn phone and put it on vibrate already.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. And massive debt.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Words like, "Is that oatmeal on her chin?" and "Does your camera know how to focus?" and "Was this picture really worth the cost of the frame?"


Joke Like a Pirate Day

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day:

What's the letter between T and V?
Arrrrrr! (pirates don't know their alphabet)

What does a cat say?
Arrrrr! (pirates don't have pets)

What does a parrot say?
Arrrrr! (He thought you said 'pirate')

Describe the inherent conflict between the Ego and the Id in modern society
Arrrrr! (pirates like one-word answers)


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Two heads are better than one, unless we're talking about acne.

The longest journey starts with a single step toward the car.

Too many cooks spoil the broth, unless you're making human broth.

Diamonds are forever, like styrofoam and nuclear waste.


When I am King: Statistical Significance

When I am King...

Statistics will be .3% more productive.

I read the following on a news site recently: “The productivity of U.S. workers slipped 0.3% during the second quarter, after falling 0.6% the prior quarter.” And I thought, what am I supposed to do with this information? Should I type faster? Think more cleverer? Stop visiting the bathroom so much and use the jar in my office instead?

Where do these statistics come from? (Don’t answer that, economists. I guarantee I won’t be interested in the real answer.) More importantly, what should we do with such abstract information? It’s like someone knocking on my door in the middle of the night to tell me the iron content of my drinking water - am I supposed to care?

I think the real reason that they tell us these things is so that we can worry more.

We have so many truly scary things to worry about in this world: terrorism, natural disasters, employment, our health, more reality TV shows - the list goes on and on. Each of these things is real and could affect us at any time. If we really thought hard about them, we’d die of stress long before any of them could actually do us in.

That’s where these other worries come in: they make us think about completely intangible ideas, complete with meaningless numbers and data. We’re so busy worrying about all of these things that we can’t possibly understand, much less do anything about, that we spend less time worrying about the ones that will actually kill us. In so doing, we live happier lives. It’s not that we’re less stressed or have less worries; in fact these things give us far more to worry about. But it’s a less focused and reasonable worry, and therefore a safer one.

When I am King, I’ll have my ministry issue statistics on many more things for people to think about. Why limit ourselves to economic growth and productivity data? What about body fat density averages? Number of donuts consumed per capita, per day? Number of tweets per hour, as a national average and per region? Tubes of toothpaste capped, with charts? Beers consumed per day: weekend vs. weekday?

We’ll be so busy trying to understand the data that we won’t even have time to worry and will lead .7% more productive lives.


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

As ye rip, so shall ye sew.

Putting lipstick on a pig isn't so bad. It's kissing the pig that's the problem.

Don't put the cart before the horse, unless it has a motor with more than one horsepower.

Don't upset the apple-cart - it can be a real bastard when it's mad.